Thinking about getting a 90 Thunderbird SC

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by Dirk37, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Dirk37

    Dirk37 Mr. Resourceful

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    I love my SHO to death, but I've always wanted something rear wheel drive. I'm planning to do some major work on my SHO soon and was considering getting this to drive while I'm working on it.

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/cto/4155542625.html

    It has 10 less HP, but 115 more ft/lbs of torque and it has the coolness factor of a supercharger :dribble:
     
  2. Huntervf

    Huntervf Bored now Supporting Member

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    And it has head gaskets that explode and a curb weight similar to pickup trucks. And without any maintenance history, that's a LOT of miles on a SC 3.8. I'd stay away from that car.

    SCs are neat cars, but if you want something RWD get a Mustang. There are all kinds of late Fox and SN-95 Mustangs selling for cheap--RWD, tons of aftermarket, relatively easy to work on with inexpensive parts. Plus you get the added benefit of a great soundtrack.
     
  3. 93markVIII

    93markVIII SHO Member

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    the curb weight is like 3500. not exactly heavy.
    the supercharged 3.8s do not blow head gaskets as often as the regular 3.8s do.

    they make excellent torque and are a lot of fun to drive. not to mention they have a much more sophisticated suspension than the old fox mustangs..

    plus its a manual. which makes it even cooler.

    TCCOA and SCCOA are excellent forums for this car and there are tons of enthusiasts to help you with any problems you may come across.

    as with any old, higher mileage car, its probably gonna have some issues and may not be the best daily driver.

    the brake system is electrically boosted and somewhat obscure and complex as well. so keep that in mind.

    mustangs are "me too" cars. i'd much rather have a SC myself. or an 89 XR7 like is in my basement.
     
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  4. tompumped

    tompumped SHO Member

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    Does anyone know if the seats are a direct bolt in for the sho? I never noticed that they look exactly the same.

    They seem like decent cars. I knew someone with a manual sc xr7. Id like to get one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  5. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    Seats are the same, frame is different (because they fold down for getting in the back seat). Not sure if tracks are the same as well...

    I would say not a terrible price for limited documentation, but just realize it's another oddball car that will have obscure parts fail...
     
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  6. mrecoolgar

    mrecoolgar SHO NUP

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    The XR7's were made 89-90 only.
    And are quite rare compared to the Tbird.
    An AOD SC weighs in at about 3800 lbs.
    And the torque is nice... 330 ft-lbs I believe.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
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  7. randy'sho

    randy'sho 95 White MTX

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    Here is my 90 sc
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. sperold

    sperold Last to Know

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    If you can cope with a SHO, you can handle this Thunderbird SC. But like the SHO, it is contageous, and it will be difficult to say good-bye. It would be much easier to sell a Mustang when you are done with it, both emotionally and financially.
    I would get the SC, even knowing that it is not the most rational decision.
     
  9. SHOtimer

    SHOtimer #2910

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    You just have to decide what you want.

    It's a different beast. I have a '95 Mark VIII - similar to the SC, but with a V8 and all the goodies.

    I love my SHO and Mark VIII, but two different cars...and in a sense, both labors of love.

    Doug
     
  10. Bryan

    Bryan Glamour Bird 1969

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    Car looks sweet dude! $1200 is not bad for a project. I'd say go for it so long as you have a reliable means of getting to work when this lady is sick and doesn't want to get up in the morning.
     
  11. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

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    Here are the keys to look for when evaluating a SC:

    1. What is the condition of the supercharger? Depending on usage, etc. they need rebuilt at least every 100k miles. The drive coupler in the nose extension tends to wear and then it makes noise when you go from accel to decel and from decel to accel. If the oil has gotten low, the gears wear and get quite noisy. And the 1990 was still the early s/c which does not provide as much boost efficiently as the later ones.

    2. What is the condition of the transmission? The Mazda M5ODR2 is a decent trans, will handle more torque than the T5, but doesn't shift as well, and tends to wear out blocking rings. They are hard to find and rather expensive. Not particularly hard to replace if you need to, just hard on the wallet. Depending on how the car has been driven, the trans may be excellent or trash or anywhere in between.

    3. Look for the usual squeaks and rattles that seem to be normal on Fords. The doors are huge, and can wear hinge pins. They also tend to wear latches and don't shut right or squeak badly on bumpy roads. Sometimes its just adjustment of hinges and/or latches, sometimes its more.

    And, if you think the SHO engine compartment is tight, look at the SC again - the SHO is a cakewalk compared to working on the SC.

    $1200 is in the right range for that car, assuming the tires and brakes are decent, given all the other recent work that apparently has been done. I personally would go for a Mustang GT, but the SC has some unique attractions.
     
  12. SHOCH

    SHOCH Tommy Boy Supporting Member

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    No Chris Gates in here yet? wtf
     
  13. platoribs

    platoribs Live to Drive

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    I know... Right?

    Bring a lot of money, time, and patience, and a little more money, you'll be fine.

    If you're able to work on your own cars, can troubleshoot electrical gremlins, not afraid to dig in, you'll be fine. Notwithstanding the first time you do anything on an SC it will take you a lot of time and new tool purchases, its really not a bad car to work on at all.

    Suspension, engine, transmission pretty much like what you've come to expect out of the SHO as far as availability. I'd have to say of the three I own they have been more trouble than the SHO's I've owned, however both SHO's were in the 40K mile range when I bought them and the SC's were all much older and more beat up.

    I LOVE, Love, love the ride in an SC, gobs of torque where you want it, smooth as glass at speed. Very different "feel" than an SHO. Driving SC's actually makes me appreciate the differences the SHO brings, more upright seating, more crazy factor (up higher in the RPMs). But the RWD and the torque, and the 5-speed make this car a very fun commuter.

    Thank you for listening...:wave:
     
  14. quikSHOilver

    quikSHOilver Yamahaized

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    :lol:
     
  15. dohcsable

    dohcsable Gold Calipers>*

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  16. luigisho

    luigisho SHO Member

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    Hey I want the wheels on that thing.
     
  17. integrity6987

    integrity6987 SHO Member

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    Go for it. T- Bird SC need worthy owners.
     
  18. Huntervf

    Huntervf Bored now Supporting Member

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    I said that for years myself. No disrespect to you or anyone here, but if I hadn't been so full of myself and arrogant back then on hating Mustangs "just because", I'd have owned 11 Mustangs by now instead of 11 SHOs. Not that I don't like the SHO... and FWIW I just about bought an 88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe before getting my Cobra. But after owning a couple Mustangs I now get why so many people like them. They're fun, cheap, easy to work on, easy to mod, and they are backed by the biggest aftermarket support in the world. So I guess you can call them "me too" cars, but I didn't buy two because I wanted to be like everyone else. I bought two because they're f*****g fun to drive.

    If you're more concerned about individuality and standing out in a crowd, T-Bird SCs are neat cars. I'd still be nervous with a high-mile car though... it can become a money pit in a HURRY. Especially at this price point. If you just want something RWD and fun, Mustang all the way. You'll still get plenty of attention, and you'll have a car with more performance potential, MUCH more aftermarket, and it won't bleed your bank account dry. They are the best bang for the buck out there.
     
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  19. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member

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    So, Chris, a Mustang-engined TBird could be the equivalent of Pegasus?
     
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  20. SuperHO

    SuperHO Mental Patient

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    Uhm... not to be the bearer of bad news, but most T-birds have the same engine as the Mustang of the same year. They only lacked a manual outside of the turbo and supercharged variants.
     
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